GW Hoops

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

8/26/2020 9:10 am  #1

Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Sure, it is mostly dissident faculty who are unhappy. While I was aware of the tone deaf comments on shooting black people, I was unaware of Michigan St´s p.r. weasel being hired. Changing some names on campus makes for a good smokescreen to distract from this stinking pile of...


8/26/2020 1:10 pm  #2

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

The downward spiral continues. I don't think LeBlanc will be removed for this. Honestly, we can't afford to buy him or anyone else out at this point. Just another example of an administration/Board that struggles to make good decisions. The real problem is sinking rankings plus high tuition in addition to this pandemic is severely impacting our school. A lot of schools around the Country will not recover from this and shut down. 


8/26/2020 2:10 pm  #3

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Nobody should feel enthusiastic about acknowledging this but GW's pricing, which I will affectionately refer to as the SJT pricing model, should have resulted in GW popping up on most "worst value" college/university lists should such lists exist.  It's akin to the person who will only eat in very high-priced restaurants because the food there must be better.  As most of us know, this is not necessarily the case.  

The SJT model succeeded on certain levels.  GW annually received publicity for being the most expensive school in the country, or one of them.  In this sense, any publicity was deemed good publicity.  High tuition in the minds of some must naturally equate to a commensurate value in education, again, something we know may not necessarily the case.  Nevertheless, because of the perceptions of some, a high price tag resulted in a more intelligent crop of students to choose from as well as an upgrade in the credentials of professors who wanted to teach at GW.  

Better qualified students + better credentialed professors should have added up to better USNWR rankings, not worse.  The problems began roughly 20 years ago when the school began submitting faulty data to USNWR.  As an example, one year, the school reported 71% of its students ranked in the top 10% of their high school classes when this figure in reality was closer to 58%.  This resulted in GW going unranked in 2012 after being nationally ranked in or around the low 50's.  Today, the school's ranking is tied for 70th but guess what?  Tuition is still inordinately high.  The SJT model proved to fool some folks for a while but once exposed in the rankings, it's hard to keep fooling folks forever.

So, one of two things really needed to happen.  One, tuition would need to come down considerably.  This would be an admission that the value of a GW education isn't quite what the school said it was for many years.  (Sure, we knew the truth.  But you weren't supposed to know that we already knew the truth.)  That's admittedly a tough pill to swallow.  That leaves doing what the school is in the process of doing.  Keep tuition around where it's been but focus on generating a STEM specialty for the school while enrolling substantially fewer students.  In other words, make every attempt to deliver an elite education to a more elite group of students for an elite price. 

This means that certain majors will be phased out leaving some professors and administrators disgruntled and perhaps even unemployed.  Change can suck but sometimes, it has to happen.  It's a shame but the vocal opposition is to be expected by those who will ultimately be left out in the cold.  In fact, why did the Post even write this article in the first place?  If you were to tell me that the writer was tipped by one of those disgruntled individuals, I wouldn't exactly be shocked. 


8/26/2020 2:37 pm  #4

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

I hope it doesn’t... I like LeBlanc a lot and like the direction he is taking the University. It’s the students and and a handful of professors who are the issue.

Yes... the layoffs are brutal, but it’s going to be rough one for Higher Ed.


8/26/2020 2:52 pm  #5

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Gwmayhem, I agree with some of what you wrote.  You also wrote: "That leaves doing what the school is in the process of doing.  Keep tuition around where it's been but focus on generating a STEM specialty for the school while enrolling substantially fewer students.  In other words, make every attempt to deliver an elite education to a more elite group of students for an elite price. 

I agree the school should do this, if in fact that is what they are doing.   However, it is 2020... it is not feasible to enroll fewer students, and deliver an elite education to a more elite group of students.  It is not like when most of us went to school in 1900s and early 2000s.  For the last number of years the school has been attempting to be more inclusive/diverse to non-elite students (like I was).  By enrolling fewer students, and of those there are more non-elite, the average testing scores and GPA will be lowered, which in turn will reflect in ratings.  


8/26/2020 5:49 pm  #6

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

I fully agree with you Mayhem on the lack of a bang for the buck for GW students.   Unless money was not a factor (if you have to ask, you can't  afford it), why would anyone choose a high priced private university over a state university.   Just in Virginia alone, you have UVa, Va. Tech, Mason and William and Mary.   I don't believe that GW students are getting a higher quality education as well as jobs that graduates from those state schools are not getting.   Throughout the country there are top flight state universities that are far less expensive than GW.  Yes, there is the benefits of being educated in the nation's capitol, but dollar for dollar, the best choice is not GW.


8/26/2020 7:11 pm  #7

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Pre-SJT I was not exactly convinced GW was a good value for the money, and SJT´s exponential tuition/fee increases did not change my opinion. These are tough times and no one on campus should expect to avoid budget cuts. HOWEVER, by failing to address the vision behind veering away from the liberal arts areas that the school has built its reputation on (SIA, GW Law, PoliComm, etc.) to areas where GW has no competitive advantage (physics? maths?) while tuning out dialog with factulty and students and THEN hiring someone involved in covering up child rape at Michigan St... Seems Mr. LeBlanc is alienating people for no reason.


     Thread Starter

8/26/2020 8:56 pm  #8

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

When has The Post ever written a nice thing about GW? It always have been Negative. 


8/26/2020 9:22 pm  #9

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Tennessee Colonial wrote:

When has The Post ever written a nice thing about GW? It always have been Negative. 

I will admit to wondering if this story shakes up Rice Hall the way a previous Post story shook up the Athletic Department. As the District´s largest private landlord, GWU should expect scrutiny from the District´s main media outlet...

     Thread Starter

8/27/2020 9:22 am  #10

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Mike K, you make a great point.  My use of the word elite was not meant to imply that diversity/inclusion would no longer be a priority.  By elite, I meant a smaller student body with an emphasis on STEM students which would likely result in higher average GPA's out of high schools, test scores, etc.  Does having a more diverse student body interfere with this goal?  My hope and thought is that it would not necessarily.  Otherwise, it would be interesting to see whether the school would prioritize diversity over enrolling the strongest possible academic class, or vice versa.

Dr. Mike, on your point #3, yes this was widely known as well which made the SJT pricing model even more pointless.  Would you spend $50,000 on a new Honda Accord?  I should hope not.  But, would you spend $50,000 on a new Honda Accord if I could guarantee $25,000 back in rebates and incentives?  Of course you might.   So, what does Honda gain by advertising the Accord for $50,000 if people are really going to pay half that price?  Is the car going to be perceived along the lines of a Mercedes or a BMW?  Not to those who know the truth.  This is similar to what has caught up to GW.  The school attempted to become a safety school to Ivy candidates and boasted an Ivy-like tuition to create the impression that the level of education was almost comparable.  Now ranked 70th, that ship has sailed.  And while your points on gaming the ranking system may be valid, it's still the perception that people formulate from viewing these rankings that matters most.

Finally, on your first point, I'm in no position to perform a projected P&L but it seems like LeBlanc fully realizes that revenues will be less.  How to maintain profitability (or close to this) is to what you suggest, eliminate departments, reduce faculty, and reduce administration and support services.  Plus, the days of students paying 50% of the sticker price may very well be over, particularly if or when the school begins to develop the reputation it is seeking regarding the STEM subjects.  


8/27/2020 4:32 pm  #11

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Not so sure Dr. Mike. GW is soon going to find itself in the cross hairs of being an overpriced private institution that does not deliver elite education. This pandemic is causing a fundamental reassessment of both the delivery and cost of education. A lot of warts in the delivery of college education are being exposed now and the cost of elite education is becoming out of the price range of most except the wealthy and the very poor. The guy who makes $150k a year is having trouble because he can't afford the high cost and he won't get much assistance. Add to that the fundamental question about incurring a huge amount of debt to go to school and you better have an elite payoff. Schools like GW with a relative high price tag but not a commensurate reputation or ranking will struggle mightily in this new era if the value proposition is not there. The top 30-40 private schools will have their niche because they can deliver elite results.The squeeze will be placed on all private schools with a high price tag but who are not elite. So when you say GW will still be standing long after we are gone, I think the jury is out on that one and it will depend largely on the value proposition GW offers moving forward.

Last edited by GWRising (8/27/2020 4:33 pm)


8/27/2020 4:47 pm  #12

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

You guys are messing up Nima’s pitch and #hashtags.


8/27/2020 6:04 pm  #13

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

GW as a STEM school doesn't make sense.  The main drawing point of GW is that you are in Washington, DC.  You don't draw the kids who want to do math and science.  You draw the kids who are interested in Politics, Government, internal Relations, Business, Law and Media.  If I ran this University, would deprioritize STEM, focus on these programs, which are your best graduate school programs, and put together a top notch externship program like you see at Northeastern's law school.  You make the selling point that if you want to be a player in DC and get the connections to get a job right out of college, you go to GW.  That's your selling point.  Any school can do STEM.  Not every school can do this.  Play to your strengths.  


8/30/2020 8:34 am  #14

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Porter 71–so right on.It would be awesome to excel ar everything-but as it stands we are perfectly set-up
to be a premier provider of the disciplines you mention.


8/30/2020 12:36 pm  #15

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

GW69 wrote:

Porter 71–so right on.It would be awesome to excel ar everything-but as it stands we are perfectly set-up
to be a premier provider of the disciplines you mention.

Except not as many want those disciplines any more. STEM is being pushed hard at the high school level and that translates up. That's where the most jobs are and most people are now looking at college as a ROI proposition given its very high cost. The problem is not that GW is offering/focusing on STEM in this environment. The problem is that GW is not yet good enough at it to be elite.


8/30/2020 4:41 pm  #16

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Counter intuitive my friend.BECAUSE stem is a big deal and we are much closer to being able to provide top notch
Humanities  we shouldfocus on that and become the premier school for non-stem in the country!


8/31/2020 5:57 am  #17

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

Right now GW is not in the STEM game.If you want to start from scratch that’s fine.I just don’t think it makes 
short term sense and only makes long,really long term sense if you are talking about 15 or 20 years from 
now.It would take that long for GW to have a chance to be considered the place to go for STEM in my opinion.We are in DC for G—d sake!Use our strengths.


8/31/2020 11:19 am  #18

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

I haven't posted in a while but I think GW is in a tough spot.  It seems like they made the bet to go big time with STEM and the building of the Engineering Hall.  I remember one GW Prof saying that GW was making a risky bet and taking on too much debt to do this.

But it feels like GW had a choice a few years back to go STEM or not.  Boston U and NYU both did invest heavily in STEM and it worked.  Both schools have gone way up prestige-wise.  So it made sense for GW to try to go down the same path.  American U went small.  It focused on liberal arts and international affairs etc. Has that worked for them?  I am not sure.

I think GW's best bet is to stay in the A-10, don't downgrade to the Patriot League, and try to ride Covid out.  And to try to keep getting research grants to support STEM programs. I imagine Departments like Philosophy etc will be gutted in favor of the remaining programs where GW feels like it can still offer something worth $60k per year.

I really don't know if LeBlanc is the right person.  It doesn't sound good.  But I thought Knapp was a really bad President who led GW on a downward spiral that it appears to be struggling to get out of.  I am long gone from my GW days, but I imagine the value of my degree is not what it once was.

Last edited by Deleo (8/31/2020 11:20 am)


8/31/2020 11:32 am  #19

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

GW has an obvious, "home court" advantage where it comes to political science, history, government, law, etc.  It is situated in the nation's capital.  It can offer an abundance of internship and career opportunities.  It has impressive alumni in these areas to draw upon.  

So the real question is whether an emphasis in STEM programs detracts in any way from this other area.  Am certain that a school can boast a very strong law school and a very strong medical school.  

Building up STEM alongside a stellar political science department/law school makes sense.  Building up STEM to the detriment of GW's already strong programs does not.


8/31/2020 12:54 pm  #20

Re: Say goodbye to LeBlanc?

How does the school's presence in/near Leesburg affect it's STEM presence - which I'm all for.


Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum